Greatest Album You’ve Never Heard


In the new issue of Songlines (Aug/Sept 2018, #140), contributors and friends of the magazine got to show off their favourite albums that might of sneaked in under the radar. Here is my underrated gem. Download a pdf here.

King Sunny Adé
E Dide (Get Up)
(MESA/Bluemoon Recordings, 1995)
Nigerian musician King Sunny Adé is recognised as one of the first African pop stars; he started playing his jùjú grooves in the 60s. But it’s this gem from the mid-90s that holds a special place in my heart. OK, so the music is pretty dated thanks to the fact that King Sunny Adé was trying to pander to Western audiences with shorter, poppier songs – the sound here is more 90s than the Spice Girls or hammerpants – but it’s impossible not boogie to this cheese. In fact, that’s why I love this album so much: a ten-year-old me happened to spot this album at the record shop and was so taken by the talking drum grooves that dominate it that I begged my mum to let me buy this with my birthday money. I’m pretty sure she thought her child was defective, but I was allowed to buy the cassette and proceeded to spend my childhood trying to sing along to the Yoruba lyrics and throwing embarrassing shapes to the far-out keyboards, talking drum and slide guitar. If you like a bit of musical cheese, then this is a ‘gouda’ album.


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